Crude's recent brush with levels close to $40 per barrel has made a lot of energy watchers nervous, but a top market analyst believes that international events will conspire to send oil prices sharply higher over the next several months.
Helima Croft, the global head of commodities strategy at RBC Capital Markets, identified supply talk surrounding Libya and Nigeria as two "bearish red herrings" for the oil market. Instability in both countries has sharply curtailed production in both OPEC member states, with Nigerian supply cut in half as militants target the country's pipelines.
"Right now there is kind of this fear that we could get 900,000 additional barrels [per day] out of Libya, the head of the national company said that by year-end," Croft said last week on CNBC's "Futures Now."
Meanwhile, "there's this view that because Nigeria [has] resumed these amnesty payments, it's going to bounce back as well [with] 400,000, 500,000 barrels," she added, referring to funds the country is providing to militants in order to halt attacks on Nigeria's oil arteries.
Nevertheless, "we just think those producers are going to remain distressed," Croft said, meaning that global oil supplies will likely remain crimped, putting upward pressure on prices.